This locomotive was built in 1944 by the Hunslet Engine Company for the Ministry of Defence. It then entered service as WD 75118.
See LNER class J94 for details.
The locomotive was delivered new to Bicester which was a Royal Airforce station.
It served at home and abroad during the last two years of the war.
After the war the locomotive carried the number 134 in line with the renumbering of the Ministry of Defence locomotives.
It was bought by the NCB for use at Primrose Hill Colliery Swillington in 1965
It would appear the National Coal Board (NCB) simply added the prefix S to make it S134.
The locomotive worked at NCB Wheldale Colliery at Castleford until the early 1980s – then to the Embsay & Bolton Steam Railway.
Whilst it was at Wheldale, two ladders were fitted to the sides of the tank, to allow for easier access to the tank filler. These have been retained and serve as a good way of recognising the locomotive.
Wheldale arrived at the railway in good mechanical condition, but required a new set of boiler tubes – thankfully the money was raised for these quickly, and the loco was returned to service for a ten year spell until its boiler certificate expired mid way through the 1990’s.
A sad, forlorn looking Wheldale can be viewed at Bolton Abbey Station – at the far end of the platform. It’s expected to move to Embsay soon when restoration starts in earnest.
Wheldale is now owned by Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, and a huge fundraising effort is underway to fund its restoration which is expected to cost in excess of £100,000.